As I've started to take near-personal offense to every word written by Rob Rossmeissl in the Badger Herald, I've decided to initiate a new segment dedicated to debunking his liberal lunacy. His columns come out weekly in the Op-Ed section, so this shouldn't waste too much of my time. That said, here goes...
Rossmeissl's most recent piece of rubbish is entitled Tax system shortchanges Wisconsin. Oddly enough it hardly brushes over the subject of Wisconsin being shortchanged and lambasts the Bush administration for not fostering an economy that promotes equality in the European sense of the word. That, however, has nothing to do with why I take fault with the article. It's the lack of intelligence and failure to research that really gets me steamed.
For instance, the first point that Rossmeissl brings up is an ultimatum by the state forcing residents owing back-taxes over $25,000 to pay up or be shamed with the release of their names. I guess I could take fault with an argument if he presented one. See when I see this ultimatum, the first thing I think of is, "wow, so there's such a lax enforcement of tax collection that there are enough people owing to make it a problem for the state?!"
I strongly oppose any kind of income tax because as far as I can see, the government has never been good at collecting tax revenues. They are quite skilled, however, at prosecuting even the miniscule offenders. For example, a chemical company in the '80s came up a dime short upon filing their taxes one year. So what does the IRS do? They penalize the company nearly $47,000! Back on point though, simply converting to a new tax system (i.e. the FairTax) would solve all these issues of people not giving the government their dues.
Consequently, following the mention of the new ultimatum, Rossmeissl ties this new "tax-retrieval method" to the inhibition of the "government's potential as a provider of social welfare". He does make a good point following this up by saying that American taxpayers enjoy a substantially smaller load than most European counterparts. I say GOOD!
Americans don't work so they can put dozens of poor, lazy, "underprivileged" folks on their backs and carry them out of the slums and into the suburbs. They work so that their family can enjoy the life many of their parents could never give them. The extra 10% of income American workers save is much better spent improving the lives of the middle class, the hardest working no less, than it is funding programs like "universal health care and fully subsidized university tuition" which Rossmeissl advocates.
A quality college education comes at a premium because as sad as it is, it's still a luxury. By taking away the student's responsiblity to pay their own way, gone is the crutch that keeps many lower-class students in school. The underprivileged students lucky enough to get a scholarship have extraordinary criteria that need to be met in order to maintain a free or discounted education. If this is taken away, there's no incentive to study 20+ hours/week just to stay in school. With the full subsidization of education would come a complete degradation in the work ethic of the student body. Dropout rates would skyrocket and graduation rates would plummet accordingly.
Rossmeissl continues to say that the "bare essentials that were always available to Americans ... are now proving they are not immune to the effects of an insufficient system of taxation." By "bare essentials" he lists only a good, public K-12 education. I'm sorry, but I consider the rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and the ability to own private property as "bare essentials", all of which require the government to forfeit not even a dime.
Good ol' Rob continues by claiming the budget surplus from the Clinton years has deteriorated by the "blundering of the Bush administration" into a record national debt. Well, adjust for inflation and you'll find this to be untrue, but details aren't important to liberals. In the '80s when the debt was just as high, the economy was galloping along at the same rate (approx. 3.6%) as it is today and it was while Clinton was at the helm. Details...
Here's another quality case of liberal lunacy from Rossmeissl; "[M]any members of the top tax bracket are so caught up in complaining about things like the social security tax". Don't even get me started with the uselessness of social security (if current senior citizens had invested even a small amount, they would have no need for S.S.). But give me a break, is it really such a bad thing for a taxpayer, wealthy or not, to complain about the loss of their hard-earned dollars to taxes. Making a million dollars or fifty-thousand, a dollar lost to taxes is one less dollar of income, period.
The dollars continue to add up in this country, and for what purpose? Spending is out of control and a budget increase is no way to slow the growth of government. As Gerald Ford said, "A government big enough to give you what you want is big enough to take it all away."
The final, and most ridiculous, comment from Rossmeissl comes in the form most pleasant to the mouths of the left: equality. "The fact that the richest nation on earth does not enforce the simplest standards of equality is disgusting." Now I understand that the phrasing of the "general welfare clause" is fuzzy, but since when does general welfare mean equality? We have been extremely generous to provide for the welfare of the poor in this country, but to say we must give them equality is just insane.
If you want to argue that the government must provide for everyone's general welfare, then what makes the poor any more deserving than the rich? Can anyone be excluded from the term "general"? Don't expect the left to ever answer that question without cursing you for questioning their motives. And don't expect Mr. Rossmeissl's next column to be any better than this one.